Philip Womack admires another fable from Nobel Laureate José Saramago. Buy Death at Intervals by José Saramago, Margaret Jull Costa from Amazon’s Fiction Books Store. Everyday low prices on a huge range of new releases and. In José Saramago’s latest novel, death falls in love and takes a holiday.

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The hospitals and social services struggle to cope with the numbers of dying people not dying.

Tricks and treats

Dialogue, too, is conducted in this way, again separated only by commas, with no he-said she-said, the conversation flowing through long, rolling lines.

The novel becomes an extraordinary romance, joking and deatb deadly serious in ta mythic elan. The book is an extended riff, a joyous, burbling, warm satire on human frailty, shot through with veins of dark humour, and despite the fact that the latter half fails to convince as much as intervaps riotous first half, is a thing of wonder and beauty, delighting in the instability of language and human and inhuman nature.

Those who are about to die, who should die, instead exist in a permanent half-life, causing untold problems to the citizenship. More from the web. The one failing in the novel is death herself for it is a she.

In fact, it causes bureaucratic chaos and societal breakdown. He describes a government hounded by industry lobbies: It contains music, and a dog, and the ever-present narrator, who admits disarmingly to “taking advantage of the reader’s credulity, and leaping over the respect owed to the logic of events”.


Death with Interruptions – Wikipedia

The first line is, as first lines go, a corker: Matthew Adams meets him Read more. The novel centers around death as both a phenomenon, and as an anthropomorphized character.

And where did she keep her change before she got said handbag? Retrieved 30 January First released in in its original Portuguese, the novel was translated into English by Margaret Jull Costa in Chris Morris’s big screen debut is the mouse that didn’t roar, says Fred Rowson.

In the novel, death takes exception and threatens to kill the sub-editor; one wonders if Saramago is fulfilling some long-hidden fantasy.

Death at Intervals by José Saramago

Mysteriously, at the stroke of midnight of January 1, no one in the country can die any more. As Saramago suggests, at the close of his brilliant, hopeful novel, a death that sleeps is no death at all.

By not privileging the narrator’s voice he enacts a kind of democracy. All this is narrated in Saramago’s customary exquisite deadpan, with his surfeit of happy invention and comically precise offhand detail. Described thus, the technique might sound messy. While love may be part of death’s transformation, she discovers something else to be the mortal’s secret. Granted, it’s an implausible scenario, but we are asked to take nothing seriously, except for the author himself.


As in many of his other works, Saramago largely eschews traditional forms of grammar and punctuation. This is mildly entertaining but it might have been more interesting to consider properly how life without death would subvert our most deeply held beliefs.

The small initial letter is also important: If it does, which country can prosecute? The cliched, circular answer is that it is love that makes sarqmago human.

Meanwhile, the families of some people in arrested death smuggle them over the border to get rid of them, because death has only ceased within the imaginary outline of this one nation. Having concluded that simply snatching mortals away without warning interavls not only cruel but also leaves a lot of loose ends, she begins to send little violet warning letters. Want some offline reading?

Like Telegraph Books on Facebook. Should the government condone this, when it is well known that the maphia is helping to cart the nearly-dead across?

Upon visiting him, she plans to personally give intefvals the letter; instead, she falls in love with him, and, by doing so, she becomes even more human-like. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation.